PCHR Weekly Report: 10 civilians wounded in 50 incursions by Israeli forces this week [24-30 May]
IMEMC 1 June — During the last week, Israeli forces conducted 50 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank, during which they abducted 13 Palestinian civilians, including 5 children. In addition, Israeli forces summoned 12 Palestinian civilians for interrogation. In one example of this week’s 50 invasions, on Sunday, May 27th, at approximately 07:00, Israeli forces moved into Kufor Qaddoum village, northeast of Qalqilya. They stormed the secondary school in the village and searched the classrooms. They fired tear gas canisters at the students to prevent them from entering their classrooms. Half an hour later, a number of Israeli settlers attempted to enter the school, but the students and villagers threw stones at them. Following these incidents, Israeli forces and the settlers withdrew from the village and no casualties were reported…
In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces conducted two limited incursions into Palestinian areas, during which they leveled areas of land which they had already razed. During these incursion, Israeli forces opened fire at cultivated land and burned some areas. Israeli forces continued to attack Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip. Israeli forces abducted 5 Palestinian fishermen and confiscated two fishing boats. Full Report
Land, property theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Apartheid / Restriction of movement
Report: Occupation’s aggression against Palestinians on the rise
NABLUS (PIC) 1 June — Land research center of the Arab Studies Society confirmed that the first five months of this year had witnessed an increase in Israeli attacks against Palestinian people and properties. The center reported that Israeli forces demolished 78 houses during that period, which led to the displacement of 545 Palestinians, including 323 children. In addition the IOF demolished 219 facilities, serving 1,476 residents, including 914 children. They had also issued demolition notifications of 368 houses inhabited by 3,199 residents, including 1,977 children. Israeli authorities have also issued notifications of demolition 190 facilities serving 1,676 residents. Moreover, IOF have issued notifications of taking over five houses, three in occupied Jerusalem and two in Al-Khalil and the confiscation of 17 tents in Tubas. The center has also reported Israeli attacks against Palestinian lands where 8,300 dunums of Palestinian lands were confiscated,
Israeli state gives 4 million shekels to City of David ‘museum’
Silwan, Jerusalem (SILWANIC) 2 June — The Israeli Ministry of Tourism and the Jerusalem Municipality have announced their intention to give 4 million shekels to the City of David settlement project in Wadi Hilweh towards construction of a museum at the site. The project is run by notorious settlement group Elad, who control not only the majority of Silwan’s settlements but also its archaeological sites, and intends to see the Judaization of the Palestinian community of Silwan. The planned museum will be built on the land of Karain-Samrin on Wadi Hilweh’s main road. Plans also include the extension of one of Elad’s already existing dangerous tunnels underneath the homes and infrastructure of Wadi Hilweh’s Palestinian population … Included in the 4 million shekel budget is production of a film about the area. Skeptics point to the theme of the film – the role of place in the district’s history – as telling of the lack of a Jewish legacy there, thus rendering Elad and the Israeli state’s claim to Silwan false. Israeli groups, however, claim to have found a local well that was used to imprison the biblical prophet Jeremiah 2,700 years ago after prophesying the destruction of ancient Jerusalem as punishment for the people’s sins.
Report: Israeli officials propose moving outpost to confiscated lands
TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma‘an) 1 June — Israeli defense officials are studying a proposal to move residents of a settler outpost to a nearby area confiscated by the Israeli military for an army base, Israeli media reported Friday. Israel’s high court ruled in May that the Ulpana neighborhood in Beit El settlement, near al-Bireh, must be evacuated by July 1, 2012, after the Israeli government sought an extension to an earlier May deadline. Israel’s Civil Administration, the military department ruling civil affairs in the occupied West Bank, is examining the possibility of moving the settlers to an 11-dunams area, confiscated in 1970, and housing an evacuated army base, Israeli daily Haaretz reported. Meanwhile, right-wing Israeli parliamentarians have threatened to pass a law bypassing the court’s evacuation order if the government does not prevent the demolition, and the settlers have refused to negotiate their evacuation, Haaretz said.
Mass held to mark ‘week for peace’ in Palestine, Israel
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 1 June — Hundreds of Palestinians and international activists attended a mass on Friday on land belonging to the Cremisan monastery near Bethlehem, which is threatened by construction of Israel’s separation barrier. Former Archbishop and Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Michael Sabbah and Father Jamal Khader led the mass, which was entitled ‘We are not absent’ … The proximity of illegal settlements and the route of Israel’s separation wall have put increasing pressure on land in Beit Jala, with several areas facing the threat of annexation. In October 2011, Israeli forces issued a military order to confiscate 37,000 square meters of private land from near the Cremisan Monastery.
Get ready for a Bedouin uprising / Clinton Bailey
Haaretz 1 June — The “Law for Bedouin Settlement in the Negev,” which the Knesset is expected to pass soon, has angered the entire Bedouin population in the south – one-fourth of all the Negev’s residents – and threatens to drive them to violence. Although the state dealt harshly with Bedouin in the past by moving them from place to place, confiscating their flocks, destroying their homes and even spraying their crops with poison, its actions never resulted in an uprising, perhaps because these violations were small-scale: a family here, a clan there. The proposed law, on the other hand, will adversely affect almost all the 200,000 Bedouin in the Negev.
Video: Stopped by apartheid on the way to Madonna’s ‘peace concert’ / Adam Horowitz
From the Vimeo page: “The Amira family activists of Ni’lin village try to get to Madonna’s “Peace Concert”.
They hold the proper concert tickets yet the road is long: determined they try to get through the apartheid wall, through the checkpoint, request assistance from the DCO office, but will they make it??” Remember, this is the same concert that Madonna invited “600 members of the Israeli and Palestinian peace camps” to attend for free.
Israel blocks mother from visiting her own daughters
EI 31 May by Mya Guarnieri — TEL AVIV (IPS) – Hundreds of thousands of families — from Palestinians to Southeast Asian migrant workers to African refugees — struggle under Israeli policies that seek to limit the number of non-Jews within Israel and in the areas it occupies. Sitting in the living room of her home in East Amman, Jordan, Sabah Othman flips through the photos of her two daughters’ weddings. “I love all of my children,” she said, in Arabic. “But my girls are my best friends.” Due to Israeli policies, however, Othman’s relationship with her daughters now takes place on the phone. Othman’s daughters live with their Palestinian husbands in Shuafat refugee camp in Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem. Because Othman’s husband is from Hebron, all of Othman’s Jordanian-born children hold West Bank identification cards and can enter the West Bank without a visa. But Othman holds only a Jordanian passport, so she must apply to the Israeli consulate in Amman to enter the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. In the past three years, she has applied six times and has been rejected four times. The two times Othman received a visa, she was permitted to visit for two weeks.
Checkpoint cheek: Confronting Israel’s Green Line racism
Al Akhbar 31 May by Nasser Rego — In late March, Umm al-Hieran resident and Israeli citizen ‘Abdesallam Abu al-Qi‘an resolved to practice some checkpoint cheek on the armed Israeli soldier stationed at the Green Line border crossing of Shani, in the Negev. The permanently staffed crossing is named after the Israeli Jewish settlement that straddles the Green Line with a nonchalance that suggests its residents’ obliviousness to the fact that a good chunk of them sit in the West Bank, and in transgression of international law. ‘Abdesallam invited me to see him. His aim was to confront the racism he encounters in oft unsuccessful attempts at crossing into Israel from the West Bank on his return from Jerusalem, where he works. Regularly turned away on account of being Palestinian, he is forced to detour via the Meitar Green Line checkpoint, taking him three times as long to reach his home in Umm al-Hieran, one of three dozen Palestinian Bedouin ‘unrecognized’ communities in Israel. He planned on confronting that racism in the company of a third person. I needed no convincing to be brought along. What made ‘Abdesallam’s story remarkable was that he is a citizen of Israel, like the other 1.3 million Palestinian citizens of the state. Yet, he is denied entry into ‘his country’ at this Green Line checkpoint a few kilometers from his home of 56 years.
Violence / Raids / Arrests
Medics: Israel bombs Gaza injuring 4
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 1 June — Israeli airstrikes wounded four Palestinians in the southern Gaza Strip early Friday, hours after an Israeli soldier and Palestinian militant were killed in an exchange of fire along the border. Witnesses said Israeli aircraft bombed an auto rickshaw [motorbike?] east of Khan Younis. Medical spokesman Adham Abu Salmiya said four people were wounded, and two were in a critical condition.
Earlier, a Palestinian gunman breached the southern Gaza border and opened fire on Israeli soldiers, who returned fire, the Israeli army said. A soldier, identified by the army as 21-year-old Netanel Moshiashvili, and the Palestinian were killed. A Gaza radio station close to Islamic Jihad named the man killed as 22-year-old Ahmad Abu Naser. It said the group’s armed wing had claimed responsibility for the attack. But a spokesman for the Al-Quds Brigades, Abu Ahmad, denied any involvement in the attack.
The body of Abu Naser was transferred to Gaza on Friday by Israeli authorities, a Ma‘an correspondent said. Palestinian sources in the Gaza Strip told Ma‘an that the attack appeared to have been aimed at luring Israeli forces into the area in an attempt to capture a soldier.
Israeli navy targets fishermen
MEMO 1 June — Israeli naval vessels have again attacked Gaza fishermen going about their lawful business at sea; no causalities have been reported in the latest incident. A statement from the Palestinian Fishermen’s Union said that some of its members were targeted by the Israeli navy at dawn on Friday. The attack caused them to stop fishing and return to port. Friday’s attack follows a similar assault on Wednesday, when four fishermen were kidnapped by the Israeli navy. Their whereabouts is as yet unknown.
Palestinian farmer injured near Bethlehem
IMEMC 1 June — Palestinian medical sources reported Friday that a Palestinian farmer was injured when Israeli soldiers attacked several farmers, and fired concussion grenades at them, while working in their lands in “Roman area”, east of Tiqoua [Taqu‘] in Bethlehem district … The Roman area in Tiqoua’ has been repeatedly targeted by soldiers and settlers, with a sharp increase of attacks carried out by fundamentalist settlers over the last few days.
Report: Israel police caught robbing Palestinian workers
TEL AVIV (Ma‘an) 31 May — Three Israeli policemen were arrested Wednesday on suspicion of beating and stealing from Palestinian workers in Jerusalem, the Israeli daily Haaretz reported. A police representative told an Israeli court on Thursday that Uziel Hanun, Osama al-Sahly and Reuven Dhokerker regularly used threats to escort Palestinian workers into alleys in the Old City. “Those who didn’t have money were beaten and sent home, those who did were also beaten, and their money stolen,” the court was told. Hanun, al-Sahly and Dhokerker were arrested Wednesday after being caught “in the act,” Haaretz reported. Police officials believe the robberies were systematic, the report said.
Israeli court slams police for probe of fatal shooting of Israeli Arab man
Haaretz 31 May — Judge dismisses Israel Police claim that Mohammed Khatib, who was shot by police in 2007 after stealing a security guard’s weapon in Jerusalem, acted from nationalistic motivations … The suit was brought by Khatib’s family, after it was declared ineligible to receive a survivors’ pension from Israel’s National Insurance Institute due to the police’s claim that his crime was a terrorist attack committed out of nationalistic motives. The court rejected the results of the police investigation and criticized investigators for transmitting false information to the court and the media.
Israeli forces hand Palestinian from Beit Sahour interrogation notice
PNN 31 May — On Thursday, 31st May, Israeli forces raided the Greek Orthodox housing complex in Beit Sahour, east of Bethlehem City, and handed a Palestinian man a notice to appear at the Etzion interrogation center, south of Bethlehem. A reporter for the Palestinian Official News Agency, WAFA, said that Israeli soldiers broke into the house of George Adel Qassis, 41, and handed him a notice to appear before its intelligence services. Qassis is a released prisoner who served three years in Israeli jails. Israel also put him under house arrest for six months during the first Intifada (uprising).
Israeli forces raid and set checkpoints in Jenin
PNN 1 June — On Friday, 1st June, Israeli forces raided several villages in Hebron, [in the] south of the West Bank, and set military checkpoints at the entrances. Media sources said that the Israeli forces raided the villages of Beit Ola, Halhoul and Ethna in Hebron, roamed the streets and placed military checkpoints at the villages’ entrances.
The IOF step up measures around the Ibrahimi Mosque
AL-KHALIL (PIC) 1 June– The Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF), on Friday, stepped up measures around the Ibrahimi Mosque at the centre of the southern West Bank city of al-Khalil. Local sources informed PIC correspondent that dozens of soldiers were deployed, since the early hours of Friday, in the area surrounding the Ibrahimi Mosque and the set up roadblocks where they checked the ID cards of Palestinian passersby. They added that the soldiers manning the checkpoint outside the Mosque also restricted access of Palestinian residents.
BBC’s World Football interviews father of gravely ill striking Palestinian
EI 1 June — The BBC World Service’s World Football program today broadcast an interview with Mahmoud Sarsak, the father of Mahmoud Sarsak, a member of the Palestinian national football squad whose life is at grave risk after 75 continuous days of hunger strike. A podcast of the interview can be heard on the BBC World Service website. Sarsak has been jailed by Israel without charge or trial for almost three years.
Israel renews administrative detention of elderly MP and Hamas leader
MEMO 1 June — The Solidarity Foundation for Human Rights has revealed that the Israeli occupation authorities have renewed, without charge or trial, the administrative detention of an elderly MP in the Palestinian Legislative Council and a leader in the Islamic Resistance Movement. Speaking on behalf of the Foundation, lawyer Osama Makboul explained that the Israeli military commander issued the order at the request of the intelligence services for a further six months in the case of the MP for Nablus City, Ahmed El- Haj Ali, 72. A similar order was issued for lecturer and Hamas leader Dr. Mohammed Ghazal. According to Mr. Makboul, MP Ali was arrested originally on 7 June last year; Dr. Ghazal was arrested on December 7, 2011. Both men will appear before the Israeli Supreme Court on 6 and 7 July to have the order confirmed or reduced. A researcher at the Solidarity Foundation, Ahmed El-Betawi, said that Dr. Ghazal intends to begin a hunger strike in protest at the renewed detention order; he will also, it is said, refrain from taking any medication.
Appeal for the release of elderly man from occupation jail
NABLUS (PIC) 1 June — Ahrar center for prisoners’ studies and human rights appealed to human rights organisations to work for the release of Haj Sami Sha’ballo, 70 years, from Askalan prison where he is being interrogated. Director of Ahrar, Fouad al-Khuffash, said that Sha’ballo was arrested on 21 May after IOF troops raided his home in Nablus, ransacked it and confiscated all mobile phones. He added that Sha’ballo is the father of liberated prisoner Kamal Sha’ballo who was released and exiled to the Gaza Strip after serving 9 years in occupation jails. Kamal expressed concern for the wellbeing of his father saying that interrogation at Askalan prison is extremely harsh and that his elderly father cannot withstand it.
Repatriation of bodies
Minister: Israel to return more bodies in June
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 31 May — Israel will return the remains of another group of Palestinians in June, the PA minister of prisoner affairs said Thursday, as 91 bodies were repatriated to the West Bank and Gaza. Issa Qaraqe‘ told Ma‘an that Israel was willing to hand over more bodies but did not say how many.
Campaign: Israel still holds remains of 379 Palestinians
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 1 June — …Since the 1960s, Israel has withheld the bodies of hundreds of Palestinians, interred in numbered, rather than named, graves in a cemetery in the occupied West Bank’s Jordan Valley. Amin Al-Bayed, the Hebron coordinator of a national campaign to recover the bodies, said they had collected files of 470 Palestinians held by Israel after death. The campaign called on all Palestinians to submit information to the campaign to pass on to the International Committee of the Red Cross, and for a legal case at the Supreme Court.
Occupation refuses to hand martyr’s remains to his family, deports it to Gaza
GAZA (PIC) 1 June — The occupation authorities transferred the remains of a Palestinian martyr, which was released on Thursday, to the Gaza Strip, after refusing to hand it to his family in the West Bank, despite that 36 years have passed since his death … The Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine confirmed, in a statement that the occupation refused to hand the body of martyr Ahmed Salman Zagharneh, one of the front’s military leaders, to his family in Al-Khalil and transferred it to the Gaza Strip, considering that as a violation to all international norms and conventions. The front demanded the occupation to give the body of the martyr to his family in Al-Khalil to be buried among his relatives. The Martyr Zagharneh had been a fighter in the ranks of the Palestinian revolution, when he participated in the Lena Nabulsi operation, adopted by the Democratic Front on the 18 May 1976. The operation was carried out to avenge the killing of school girl Lena Nabulsi, who was killed by the IOF while on her way home from school on 15 May 1976. The IOF soldiers kept shooting at her body even after she died.
The martyr Reem Rayashi’s grave embraces the rest of her body
GAZA (PIC) 1 June — The body of Palestinian martyr Reem Rayashi remained divided between the “Cemeteries of Numbers” and her grave in Gaza built by her family to bury Reem’s remains that they received from the occupation right after her martyrdom during a commando operation in Beit Hanoun crossing ‘Erez’, Northern Gaza. Rayashi, a mother of two children, had carried out on 14 January 2004 a martyrdom operation targeting a gathering of occupation soldiers and officers in Beit Hanoun crossing and resulting in killing four officers and wounding others … [Her brother Rami] Rayashi stressed that when they had buried his sister’s remains sent by the occupation, they had not been aware that there had been another part kept by the occupation. He considered the occupation’s act as unacceptable and aims at punishing the family. He pointed out that as soon as they receive the body’s remains, they will bury it in her grave in Sheikh Ajlin graveyard with the rest of her body.
Solidarity / Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions
The campaign to change Caterpillar’s human rights policies
Nat’l Catholic Rptr 1 June — Ten years ago, Caterpillar Inc., known for farm tractors, became known in human rights circles for the D-9 bulldozer with a gun turret and reinforced steel siding. Israel used the D-9 in 2002 to bulldoze parts of the Jenin refugee camp in the West Bank, leaving about 4,000 people homeless … Israeli human rights groups say 7,000 Palestinian homes have been bulldozed, making more than 50,000 people homeless. These D-9 bulldozers are sold by Caterpillar to the Pentagon and transferred to Israel through the US Foreign Military Sales program under the Camp David Accords. In other words, they are part of the arms trade, not agriculture.
This year the [shareholder] meeting will consider the following resolution: RESOLVED: shareholders request the Board of Directors to review and amend, where applicable, Caterpillar’s policies related to human rights that guide international and U.S. operations… The meeting will be at 8 a.m. June 13 in San Antonio, Texas
Palestine solidarity activists tell Canterbury City Council: Dump Veolia
EI 1 June by Adri Nieuwhof — Palestine solidarity activists are putting pressure on Canterbury City Council to dump the transportation giant Veolia because of its role in Israeli occupation and apartheid. It all started at a meeting for pensioners where city council officials introduced the recycling bins that would be used in 2013 by a new contractor without revealing the name of the company. Palestine solidarity campaigner Diane Langford inquired if Veolia was the new service provider. After a long silence, the officials said such information could be obtained via a request under the Freedom of Information Act. It turned out that Canterbury City planned to award the new waste contract to Veolia through the back door. Meanwhile more than a thousand citizens have joined the protests, including the former Bishop of Dover.
London lawyer takes on corporations abetting Israel’s crimes
EI 1 June by Adri Nieuwhof — Simon Natas is a London-based lawyer specializing in criminal defense law and human rights. Natas is involved with the organization Jews for Justice for Palestinians and has defended a number of Palestine solidarity activists, including four who blockaded the cosmetics retailer Ahava’s London flagship store in Covent Garden on two occasions in 2009. Ahava closed the store last September; this decision followed a long series of protests outside the store, which led its landlord to refuse to renew the lease. The Electronic Intifada contributor Adri Nieuwhof interviewed Natas about the protesters’ case and the role of G4S Israel, a subsidiary of British-Danish security firm G4S, in Israel’s occupation and repression of Palestinians.
Electronic Intifada weekly podcast – 31 May 2012
This week on The Electronic Intifada podcast, Palestinian contractors demand that the United Nations exclude Israeli companies from Gaza development projects; Water apartheid leaves Palestinian children ill in the West Bank; an American demands justice for her husband, who was murdered by Israeli police two years ago in East Jerusalem; a Palestinian soccer star’s father asks the sports world to speak out for his hunger-striking son as Israel violates the hunger strikers’ deal; an update from Gaza with our correspondent Rami Almeghari; and news from the global boycott, divestment and sanctions movement.
Racism / Discrimination / Sectarianism
The IOF desecrates al-Rahma Cemetery next to al-Aqsa Mosque
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 1 June — A group of IOF troops desecrated on Thursday Bab al-Rahma Cemetery next to the Aqsa Mosque by daubing the tombs and headstones with Hebrew racist graffiti against Muslims and calling for the death of Arabs. Head of the committee that takes care of Muslim cemeteries in Jerusalem, Mustafa Abu Zahra, said that this attack is just one in a series of continuous attacks by the occupation soldiers and settlers against Muslim cemeteries in Jerusalem. “The attacks by occupation soldiers and Jewish settlers were not limited to the Ma’manullah cemetery, which is still under attack, but it has reached to Bab al-Rahma cemetery next to the Blessed Aqsa Mosque,” he said. He added that a number of the so called Border Guards wrote slogans insulting to Muslims and calling for the death of Arabs on headstones.
Video: Israel to begin migrant deportation amid rising hostility
BBC 1 June 2012 In recent weeks, African migrants have become the target of violent attacks by people in Israel, who blame them for a rise in crime and anti-social behaviour. Israel will move to deport hundreds of South Sudanese people over the coming weeks. The BBC’s Jon Donnison reports.
AG: South Sudan safe enough to deport migrants from Israel
Haaretz 30 May — Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein told a Jerusalem court on Wednesday that there is no reason to prevent the deportation of South Sudanese citizens to their country of origin, as South Sudan is safe enough for them to return home. Weinstein based the remarks on a foreign ministry report on the economic and security conditions in South Sudan, and on the possibility of deporting migrants to the country.
Video: South Sudan refugee influx strains camps
Al Jazeera 26 May — Thousands of people have sought refuge from fighting between Sudan and neighbouring South Sudan in overflowing camps on the border. Many refugees fleeing a conflict, which is mainly over disputed oil-rich land, walked for days without food or water. Some even died during the trip. With the rainy season approaching, aid agencies say conditions will likely get much worse for them and disease could spread quicker in the crowded camps. Al Jazeera’s Anna Cavell reports from the Jamam refugee camp in South Sudan.
Israeli minister: I will retire if forced to pay non-Orthodox rabbis’ salaries
Haaretz 29 May — Religious Services Minister Yaakov Margi said Monday that if he is forced to pay the salaries of non-Orthodox rabbis, he will request permission from Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef to immediately retire from his position. The Shas MK’s declaration followed an announcement that Israel is prepared to recognize Reform and Conservative community leaders as rabbis and fund their salaries.
Parents decry growing religious coercion after IDF launches kashrut contest on Navy ships
Haaretz 30 May — Soldiers in the navy are now participating in a contest to test their knowledge of the laws of kashrut, with the prize being a “fun day” – a day devoted to some kind of leisure activity – for everyone on the winner’s ship. Parents of soldiers serving in the navy’s missile boats have recently complained about what they term the trend of “growing religious coercion” concerning issues such as kashrut and Sabbath observance, “to the point where they were punished for mistakes on matters of kashrut,” one parent said.
IFJ welcomes call for boosting journalists’ safety in Palestine
PNN-IFJ 1 June — The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) welcomed on Thursday, 31st May, the recent declarations of the Information minister of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Khalifa, who called on media organisations in Palestine to provide safety equipment to their staff while covering conflicts. “We welcome this safety first approach in one of the most dangerous zones for journalists,” said Jim Boumelha, IFJ President. “This will give a tremendous boost to our campaign to protect journalists in the region and we hope more governments will adopt the same mindset over risks media face in their work.”
Journalist prosecuted by Israel
Jerusalem (Brisbane Times) 2 June — ISRAEL’S Attorney-General has decided to indict a journalist who revealed that top army officers had approved killings of Palestinian militants in the West Bank, charging him with illegal possession of classified documents. The move against Uri Blau, a reporter with the liberal newspaper Haaretz, was the first prosecution of an Israeli journalist for possession of classified materials and drew criticism from civil rights advocates and defence correspondents, who called it a blow to freedom of the press.
Journalists rail against AG’s decision to indict Uri Blau
Ynet 31 May — Israeli journalism community slams Weinstein’s decision to file criminal charges against reporter who used Anat Kam as source as ‘crushing blow to freedom of press’ … Dozens of prominent journalists from the print, broadcast and online media appealed to Weinstein Thursday to dismiss the case … “This will take an unbelievable toll on the press in Israel. I hope the court throws this case out,” senior Haaretz political commentator Akiva Eldar said. “Maybe then the AG will learn the freedom of the press is sanctified.”Blau didn’t break any laws… He did what every journalist would have done – he turned it over to the Censor and abided by their decision.”
Al Jazeera: Two obstacles face Palestinian consensus government
PNN 31 May — Palestinian and Egyptian officials revealed to Al-Jazeera Net that two obstacles to a consensus government have appeared after the meeting between Fatah and Hamas in Cairo. The meeting was held to discuss a way to assign candidates to posts in the national government. The Sources said that the Fatah delegation insisted that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas- leader of the new consensus government- should be the one to choose the Finance and Internal ministers, while the other ministers are to be chosen after consultations. However, the Legislative Council refused this offer stating that, “The temporary government came after Hamas agreed on its formation, thus the Legislative Council does not view it as the legitimate organization to be making choices.” The sources also said that Hamas insists on choosing all the members of the new government, on the one condition that the ministers hadn’t worked in any post previously occupied in Salam Fayyad’s government in the West Bank.
Rawabi: Israeli model for ‘neo-Palestinian’ city
Al Akhbar 1 June by Abbad Yehya — Ramallah- Halfway between occupied Jerusalem and Nablus, in middle of the West Bank and 9km north of Ramallah, private Palestinian funds, generously supported by Qatar, and protected by the occupation army, are building a city for the “new Palestinians,” as US General Keith Dayton, US Security Coordinator for Israel-Palestinian Authority in Tel Aviv, calls them. Rawabi is a “Palestinian settlement” currently under construction at a cost nearing US$1 billion. It is located on a 6,300-dunum (6.3 square kilometers) piece of land seized by the Palestinian Authority (PA) through a decree signed by president Mahmoud Abbas in November 2009. After a failed attempt by landowners to reverse the decision or reduce its impact, the land was bought by businessman Bashar al-Masri … Villagers speak about soldiers who man the Attara roadblock, allowing everyone related to the Rawabi project to pass through while barring the flow of regular Palestinians.
Forthcoming documentary tells story of Gaza kids resisting siege with kites
[with film trailer] EI 1 June by Maureen Clare Murphy — Flying Paper, a forthcoming documentary by Roger Hill and Nitin Sawhney, tells the story of Palestinian children in Gaza who broke the Guinness world record for most kites simultaneously flown. The film was co-produced with young filmmakers in Gaza … The Electronic Intifada contributor Anne Paq, whose powerful photojournalism is familiar to our readers, is also co-producer of the film. According to her, the film honors the vibrancy of Gaza society despite Israel’s cruel siege:
Palestinian band joins German world culture festival
BERLIN (Ma‘an) 30 May — A Palestinian folk band performed in Berlin’s annual Carnival of Culture on Wednesday, joining 97 other bands and some 1 million attendants, participants said … Lafee Khalil, a Palestinian community leader in Berlin, said the carnival and celebration is one of the largest celebrations in Europe. Al-Forsan’s involvement stressed Palestine’s unity and culture, Khalil said. He noted that its participation was particularly joyous considering Palestine’s membership in UNESCO, the UN’s agency for world culture.
Even rockets can’t keep Israelis away from towns near the Gaza Strip
Haaretz 31 May — The rocket-battered Sdot Negev Regional Council has seen a 55 percent increase in population over the past five years, despite its security issues, thanks to its good school system and rural environment, according to the area’s new residents … According to Sdot Negev Regional Council Chairman Meir Yifrach, the strength of the veteran population in the face of the security situation inspires confidence in new residents. “We don’t make a big deal of every Qassam that falls…”
Israeli soldiers flee from Hebron military base
PNN 31 May — On Wednesday, 30th May, Yediot Ahranot website reported that eight Israeli soldiers left one of the military checkpoints that were supposed to guard the entrance of the Ibrahim mosque in Hebron. One of the soldiers said that this behavior was a protest against the poor conditions in which they are required to live during their time in Hebron. He said they don’t get enough food, are made to do patrols that can last up to 6 hours daily and don’t get any appreciation from the Israeli officials in return. He also said that this decision was correct and they are not worried about the harsh sanctions that are imposed on the soldiers who escape from the service. After a few hours, the eight soldiers came back to the military base where two of them handed in their kit and decided to stop serving in the Israeli army, until their demands are met and their conditions improve.
Taboo of truth-telling about Palestine in US classrooms tackled by new book
EI 31 May by Steven Salaita — Scholars of Palestine have long discussed the hazardous act of bringing up Israeli colonization in American classrooms (secondary and post-secondary). This act of informing students about a monumental conflict in which a colonial aggressor visits various forms of oppression on an indigenous population is perceived as hazardous for good reason. In the vast majority of secondary schools, mentioning Palestine in a favorable light is strictly taboo … In the past decade, dozens of university instructors have battled for their jobs amid pressure from fanatical Zionist groups seeking to have them fired, sometimes succeeding … Remarkably, nobody has written a book specifically about these phenomena until now. Enter Marcy Knopf Newman’s The Politics of Teaching Palestine to Americans.
US Embassy to American in trouble in Israel: ‘You’re not Jewish? Then we can’t do anything to help you
Mondoweiss 1 June — Sandra Tamari, a Quaker, mother of two, and member of the St. Louis Palestine Solidarity Committee, was detained at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion airport last week and aggressively questioned for over eight hours before being taken to a detention center and deported back to the United States. During questioning, Israeli security demanded she open her personal email account and accused her of being a terrorist. Requesting help from the US Embassy, Tamari – a US citizen – was immediately asked if she is Jewish. When told that she was Palestinian, Tamari was advised they could do nothing for her.
Report: Obama secretly ordered cyber attacks on Iran’s nuclear program
Haaretz 1 June — Shortly after taking office in 2009, U.S. President Barack Obama secretly ordered sophisticated attacks on the computer systems that control Iran’s nuclear enrichment facilities, the New York Times reported. According to the report, Obama decided to expand attacks that had begun during the George W. Bush administration. The report said that the Stuxnet worm, the existence of which became public in 2010, was developed by the United States and Israel as part of a joint effort to sabotage the Iranian nuclear program.
Activists fume as NJ attorney general finds NYPD broke no laws in spying on Muslims / Alex Kane
Mondoweiss 1 June — When the Associated Press revealed that the New York Police Department (NYPD) spied on Muslim residents of Newark and mapped out where they eat, pray and work, the reaction from New Jersey officials was critical. “What we are discovering appears to be an NYPD operation in our city that involved the blanket surveillance of Newark residents and workers based solely on the religion of those individuals,” said Newark Mayor Cory Booker. … But now, a different tune is being heard from New Jersey. A recently-concluded probe of the NYPD program in New Jersey has found that the police department did nothing wrong or illegal